Sunday, July 24, 2005

Xterra Midwest Championships

Sunday, July 24

Caught a few minutes of the Tour de France to see Lance on his last day of domination (amazing Tour this year, which I have caught lots of on my trip). Ate my pre-race breakfast (toast, pb, applesauce), and shot over to the race site. I decided to go with my new, slicker tires for my bike, but it seems like the course is still going to be a little muddy...could be interesting. I grabbed a pretty good spot on the rack in the transition area, only to quickly learn that wetsuits were not going to be allowed (water temp reported over 72 degrees)...major bummer for me. The other bad news was that it was supposed to be the hottest day of the summer in Milwaukee, and it was already scorching at 11am. Ate a power bar, set up the rest of my gear in transition, and then took a GU energy gel shot before heading down for the swim start. Jumped in the water for light warm-up, this water sure feels cold enough for a wetsuit. The canon went off exactly at 11am, and we were off. The water was VERY choppy for the 1 mile (2 laps of .5 mile)...and I was getting hammered out there by not only all the other swimmers (shotgun start for the race), but choppy water smashing me in the face when I went up to breathe. If this wasn't bad enough, the water was FREEZING in some spots. You would go from 74 degree water into pockets of water that could not have been above 60 degrees. There was also a pretty strong current that was making it a tougher swim. On the second lap my feet actually went numb for a while. Struggled through the second lap, worst swim I have ever had...but others (including pros) said it was the toughest swim they had ever faced. I jumped out and started the 400 meter dash to the transition area.

Boy was I happy to be on my bike, time to start hammering to catch all the people who swim better than I do! I was feeling good on the bike, making lots of passes. Half way through the second lap I had the worst crash in a while. There was a low tree trunk over the single track trail, which I ducked, but for some reason forgot there was a second low tree trunk right behind it and DONK~! I hit it so hard with the crown of my head I actually flew 3 feet to the right and into a bush with my bike. I was totally disoriented and wondered if I had gotten a concussion (saw later I cracked my helmet). After 20 seconds of being down decided I didn't have any more time to think about it and needed to start riding. I finally got back up to my full speed and started feeling ok. I finished the bike strong, making a few more passes over the last flat, open section. Pretty sweet MB trail right in the heart of Milwaukee!!

Now things start to fall apart. The temp is soaring and humidity is scorching. I had already taken both of my enduralites/salt tabs, and felt like I needed more to prevent cramping with such high heat. After a 2 mile stretch over pavement and through the deep sand on the beach (ouch), I was not feeling great as the sun was just scorching me. Leg muscles were on the verge of cramping up, and I knew this wasn't good with over 4 miles to go. Got into some single track trails, and as I was stepping over a 2 foot log, my right hamstring knotted up in a tight ball...first time I have ever cramped, and this hurt like heck! A runner behind me saw it happen, and asked if I wanted 2 salt tabs...which I quickly downed and started walking...trying to loosen up the legs. I got up to a walk/run cadence...and drank gatorade and water at each of the 5 aid stations. I was in survival mode on this run...but so where many of my competitors! About 20-30 min after the salt tabs, my legs started to feel better...and I was able to pick up the cadence a bit. Finally hit the home stretch and kicked out the finish to ensure a guy closing fast didn't pass me.

Results: 10th place age group (in Championship-level races many of these racers are from different parts of the country, tough field)

Current Mid-Atlantic Region ranking in age group: 4th (59 racers have raced from the MA region)

I am shooting for another top five finish in a race to push me up in the regional points standings...3 more Xterra triathlons to go...but my body is starting to feel all this racing. On Aug 28 i will have raced in 7 tri's and mountain bike races in 8 weeks...this just doesn't allow my body the necessary time to recover. But ya know what? It sure as heck is FUN!! Speaking of fun, I am so happy every morning I wake up on this trip...this is sweet. I need to find an area of occupation that allows me more flexibility in life!!

So, I arrived in Madison WI today...a fairly short drive from Milwaukee (where I got in my car at 5:30pm and the temperature was 98 degrees! Now that is the definition of a SCORCHER!!!). I am staying with one of my moms friends (Jan) and was treated to an AWESOME home cooked meal!! YUMMY! Can't tell you how much you miss these when traveling ;) Then I jumped in a HUGE jacuzzi bath tub to rest the legs...which are finally starting to feel a little better!!


At 10:10 PM, Anonymous Linda said...

excellent excerpt - Interesting course of events on your race. Sounds like you definitely had some obstacles but you plowed thru it!~ Hope the weather cools off a bit for you :)

At 1:43 PM, Blogger Tri-Troy-MTB said...

good luck in your Xterra quest! I know how it feels -- I did 11 Xterras last year. Had to push hard to qualify for nationals, but made it. enjoy!!! Be sure and listen to your body to avoid injury.


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